Monday, April 20, 2020


मुझे लगा, तुम्हारे जीवन में मेरा कोई महत्व ही नहीं है.

मुझे भी. 

ऐसा क्यों हुआ हमारे बीच?

तुम अप्राप्य थे. 

तुम भी.

किन्तु अप्राप्य होने की शर्त समाज की थी, मेरी नहीं. 

पर उस शर्त से बाधित होने का संकेत तुम्हारा था, समाज का नहीं. 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Oh! The difference that a person makes!

What Chanakya did in 326 BC, Gandhi did in 1920 - converted resistance to a mass movement.

In both cases, the power was devoid of authority. It came from a moral source.

In both cases, the colonisers were completely removed from the land.

Can you imagine what would have happened if we had a Chanakya in 712 AD?

I have never been very respectful of Gandhi, but can also not disregard the massive difference his strategy made - of converting politics from a specialist subject to a mass movement.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Namak - A poem and Story for children

एक दिन नमक ने ठानी
नहीं चलेगी तानाशाही

पानी मेरा हर लेते हैं
वे मुझको सब छल लेते हैं

सूर्यदेव को लगायी गुहार
उन्होंने भी सुनी पुकार

"जब मैं सागर में बहता हूँ
चिरकोटि तक मैं रहता हूँ

मनुष्य मुझे पकड़ लेता है
पानी मेरा हर लेता है

फिर मेरा अंत निश्चित है
संशय नहीं इसमें किंचित है

कभी फल, कभी अचार
भाजी कभी, और कभी दाल

चाहे किसी प्रकार हो देव
अंत मेरा होता सदैव

आप अगर जल नहीं हरेंगे
तब ही मेरे प्राण बचेंगे।"

सूर्यदेव ने कहा "ज़रूर!
नमक से पानी न होगा दूर!"

उस दिन से कमाल हो गया!
आदमी बेहाल हो गया!

दिन दिन बीते, पानी न जाए
नमक कोई अब कैसे बनाये?

निकाले बड़े बड़े पतीले
आग जलाई उनके नीचे

अब तो नमक सकपकाया
पानी भी बहुत घबराया

बहुत लगा लकड़ी और तेल
नमक का भाव सब से तेज़

लोग नमक अब कम थे खाते
किफ़ायत से थे काम चलाते

नमक के अब सब गुण गाते थे
रासायनिक विधा समझाते थे

मिटटी का तेल धीरे से हँसता
दाम से ही है मूल्य बनता।

One day, salt decided that it wants freedom. It went straight to the Sun God and requested him to not take the water away, because, in the sea, salt lives forever, but as soon as Man takes it out, it stares at certain death. The Sun God agreed.
This led to major issues among humans. They then took out huge boilers and boiled the water away. This made salt very expensive, and people started using it less. They now started praising salt as an exotic spice and wrote chapters about the difficult process of extraction of salt.
Crude oil laughed quietly on the side. "It is true then, our price determines our worth."

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Writing Prompt, and impromptu writing

Kawaljit Singh gave this picture as the writing prompt on an online forum on Facebook. 
Usually, I am quite pathetic at writing to a prompt, but this time, 2 pieces came out on their own. 


चांद की डाली,
स्वप्न की डोर,
धरा से धक्का,

अंतरिक्ष का छोर।

चल सखी,
उड़ते हैं।

The moon as our branch
Our dreams as the rope 
From the Earth we take off
To reach the edge of the universe. 

Come, Friend, let's fly. 

ਤੂ ਨਿਰਾ ਪੀਁਗਾਁ ਹੂਟੇਯਾਁ ਜੋਗਾ,
ਮੇਰਾ ਚਨ ਤੇ ਬਲਦਾ ਕਿਤੇ ਹੋਰ।
ਤੂ ਨਿਰਾ ਸੁਖਨੇਯਾਁ ਜੋਗਾ,

ਚਨਾ ਸੁਖ ਤੇ ਮੇਰਾ ਕਿਤੇ ਹੋਰ।

Tu nira peenga huteyaan joga,
Mera chann te balda kite hor
Tu nira sukhneyaan joga

Channa sukh te mera kite hor...

You are only good for swings, 
My real moon burns somewhere else 
You are only good for dreams, 
My happiness, dear moon, lies elsewhere. 

Note: Both translations are bad and do no justice to the originals. The originals rely heavily on word play that is inherent in those languages. Hindi literature often uses the rope of a swing as a medium to reach another, distant place. In Punjabi, the beloved male is often called "My moon", unlike in Urdu where the lady is compared to the moon. Also, in Punjabi, the words for dream and happiness come from the same root, so they differ only by one syllable. 

Monday, April 06, 2020

Word Play and Advice

I have been itching to write this for 2 days now. Enough patience.
Democracy does not need questioning. It needs self-education.
Meditation does not need concentration. It needs submission.

Friday, April 03, 2020

On Coronavirus

At this time, everyone appears to be floundering on the virus. It is a tough time, and it is my sincere belief that every single world leader wants to do the best for their country right now. Every single one. Even Xi.

One report I read said that 21 million cell phones in China have gone dead (not been used). Another report said that the no of deaths cannot be so low, bcs the incinerators were working round the clock.

Brazil has announced that it will not do a lockdown. Yesterday, it announced its first case of community transfer - a local Amazon tribesperson. But their mortality rate - currently at 3.7%, is not much worse than the other countries.

There is too much data, too little wisdom. Only one thing I do know - never has the world been as united in its grief as today. THIS is history in the making.

The article above asks some very important and relevant questions. We should all hear them.

Also, this:

Before you criticise your govt, the WHO, or anyone else for their Covid response, please don't forget to share your credentials in managing a virus that infects more than 1,00,000 people a day.
Everyone's floundering. Everyone's struggling.
Everyone's trying to do the best that they can.
Believe in people. Follow instructions.
Help, if you can. Pray, if you can't.